\ ˈspərn How to pronounce spurn (audio) \
spurned; spurning; spurns

Definition of spurn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 obsolete

a : stumble
2 archaic : to reject something disdainfully

transitive verb

1 : to tread sharply or heavily upon : trample
2 : to reject with disdain or contempt : scorn



Definition of spurn (Entry 2 of 2)

b obsolete : stumble
2a : disdainful rejection
b : contemptuous treatment

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Other Words from spurn


spurner noun

Choose the Right Synonym for spurn


decline, refuse, reject, repudiate, spurn mean to turn away by not accepting, receiving, or considering. decline often implies courteous refusal especially of offers or invitations. declined his party's nomination refuse suggests more positiveness or ungraciousness and often implies the denial of something asked for. refused to lend them the money reject implies a peremptory refusal by sending away or discarding. rejected the manuscript as unpublishable repudiate implies a casting off or disowning as untrue, unauthorized, or unworthy of acceptance. teenagers who repudiate the values of their parents spurn stresses contempt or disdain in rejection or repudiation. spurned his overtures of friendship

Examples of spurn in a Sentence


fiercely independent, the elderly couple spurned all offers of financial help

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Standout free-agent defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has agreed to a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers, according to media reports, spurning interest from the Ravens and Cleveland Browns to stay in the NFC South. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens free-agent target Gerald McCoy reportedly signing with Panthers," 3 June 2019 The perpetrators are often men who want to punish women for ending a relationship or spurning unwanted advances. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column One: This cafe in India is fully run by acid attack survivors," 18 Apr. 2019 For more than three years, Gabriel has been criticized for his handling of embezzlement within the administration, for alleged whistleblower reprisal and for spurning congressional demands for documents and testimony. Dennis Wagner, azcentral, "Rep. Gosar seeks to cut top federal power agency boss' salary to $1 per year," 6 June 2018 Elsewhere, Iowa’s Democrats will pick candidates for governor, and an Alabama GOP congresswoman who spurned President Donald Trump in 2016 will find out if there is a price to pay for her disloyalty. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "California Primaries Could Shut Parties Out of Key November Midterms," 6 June 2018 Elsewhere, Iowa’s Democrats will pick candidates for governor, and an Alabama GOP congresswoman who spurned President Trump in 2016 will find out if there is a price to pay for her disloyalty. Allure, "The 15 Best Face Washes for Oily Skin," 19 Mar. 2019 And yet, outside of enlarging the font on his computer, Bindel has always spurned technology for the visually impaired. Caren Chesler, Popular Mechanics, "A Vision Quest," 6 Mar. 2019 This was another opportunity spurned by the Swiss, who have reached the last 16 in four of the last five World Cups only to be eliminated without scoring a goal. Steve Douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Emil Forsberg delivers as Sweden reaches World Cup quarterfinals with 1-0 win over Switzerland," 3 July 2018 After Cousins was spurned by the Pelicans, the Dubs swooped in, stealing him on an incredibly affordable contract that’s of little risk to the team—even if Cousins isn’t fully recovered from an Achilles tear. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "Grades: Warriors Win the Summer With DeMarcus Cousins Signing," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spurn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spurn


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spurn


Middle English, from Old English spurnan; akin to Old High German spurnan to kick, Latin spernere to spurn, Greek spairein to quiver

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Statistics for spurn

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for spurn

The first known use of spurn was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for spurn



English Language Learners Definition of spurn

literary : to refuse to accept (someone or something that you do not think deserves your respect, attention, affection, etc.)


\ ˈspərn How to pronounce spurn (audio) \
spurned; spurning

Kids Definition of spurn

: to reject with scorn He spurned the offer.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spurn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spurn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spurn

Spanish Central: Translation of spurn

Nglish: Translation of spurn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spurn for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spurn

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showing courage and determination

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